C.N.P Poetry 

  • Cathexis Northwest Press

Metamorphosis; Sweet Tooth; The Ilk of Over-planning...

By: John Dorroh


Too many boats named Calypso

and Minnow. so many tadpoles

in the ditch behind your house. the

first time i saw them, i lost my breath.

Tadpoles eat their tails grow into

frogs and leave the water. they hop

into beds and make bumpy cover.

the boats never leave. except to trade

places with tadpoles.

There are pink frogs in New England

that live under piers in quiet bays

and harbors. i’ve seen them. i’ve

tasted them. accidentally.

Maybe there are no pink frogs

in New England. maybe I made

that up. if they are there, with hydraulic

pads stuck sucking to the bottom part

of handrails, they have trouble leaving

my skin.

I counted four in one week. warmest

breezes of summer. i cupped hurricane

vapor in my palms prayed while boats

passed in white light. Calypso X, Fantastic

Nag, Bump in the Night, Mighty Minnow.

Sweet Tooth

I taste sponge in my morning coffee.

It’s not on the clean side of the wash.

Pouring it down the drain.

Who knows what’s in that water. I take

my chances elsewhere. Like the old woman

who’s had covid and talks

to me much too close. I like her anyway.

She leaves almond cookies in my mailbox

with little notes:

Have a great day! Do something decadent!

Smiley face. Her son died last year in his

sleep. The wife is lost.

Julia Child is still dead. I saw her last night

cooking lemon meringue pie with phyllo.

No one does that.

She had a guest, Chef Robert, who made

Greek almond cookies with anise and ginger.

I find some in my mailbox.

The Ilk of Over-planning or Will I Ever Learn to Live Like the Birds?

We are eating lemons and limes today,

the biggest ones I’ve ever seen, from Belize

the grocer tells me. I bite into sour dreams

and wipe pulp from my face, my swollen lips.

I want a banana daiquiri instead, so creamy and cold

that the coconut freezes on my tongue to heal

scars from living among vines and trees

with uncomplicated trunks. They need branches

and limbs that reach out into the neighbor’s yard,

taunting the dog who lives there. There’s a certain

mysterious beauty to it, living with the possibilities

that you might get bit or fluffed, stung or trapped,

that your constitution becomes unraveled, your timing

snagged by unexpected barbs and stings, twists

in the road, dangerous catwalks, palm trees

hula body trunks and fronds that can slice

open the thickets of veins.

John Dorroh has never fallen into an active volcano, nor has he ever caught a hummingbird. However, he has made bread with monks in Salzburg and drunk their beer. Two of his poems were nominated for Best of the Net. Others have appeared in Feral, Os Pressan, Tilde, and Burningword.

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